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In December 2003, the Government announced the transfer of a large portion of the customs function of the Canada Customs and Revenue Agency (CCRA) to the newly established Canada Border Services Agency. This transfer was completed on December 12, 2005, when Royal Assent was granted to Bill C-26, An Act to establish the Canada Border Services Agency. As a result of this legislation, the CCRA has legally become the Canada Revenue Agency (CRA) and will continue its mandate under that name.The confidence of Canadians in the Canada Revenue Agency’s fairness and integrity is fundamental to our success in administering tax and benefit programs on behalf of governments throughout Canada. We earn that confidence through our emphasis on excellence in service, protection of information, transparency in the way we account for our performance, and fairness in our dealings with taxpayers and benefit recipients.
As Minister of National Revenue, I recognize that high levels of voluntary compliance within Canada’s tax system are rooted in the confidence of Canadians in our fairness, accountability and integrity. My priorities for the Agency will be to maintain and improve upon the current avenues of rights and appeals that provide taxpayers with a sense of confidence and certainty in dealing with the Canada Revenue Agency. As well, the CRA will make additional advances in its collections activities to reassure Canadians that Canada’s tax laws are applied fairly and consistently. This benefits all Canadians and leads to our mutual social and economic well-being.
The CRA is a powerful driver for improving business productivity, lowering the cost of government, simplifying citizens’ interaction with their governments, and ensuring responsible stewardship of taxpayers’ dollars. This is the essence of Agency 2010, an ambitious and innovative change agenda for the CRA, which is described in this report.
The 2006-2007 Report on Plans and Priorities details our objectives and strategies to continue to meet and exceed our performance record. It also includes key tax and benefit initiatives introduced in the May 2006 Federal Budget. The initiatives included in this report will help ensure simpler, more secure, and less costly options for Canadians to meet their tax obligations and receive benefits.
Each year, the Canada Revenue Agency produces a Report on Plans and Priorities outlining its objectives, strategies, performance expectations, and financial projections for the ensuing three fiscal years. It is with pleasure that I present this first report during my tenure as Chair of the Board.
Since the Agency was established in 1999, the Board has overseen the implementation of administrative policies and a unique governance regime tailored to the CRA’s mandate to administer tax and benefit programs. Having laid the groundwork, the Agency is now looking to the future. The 2006-2007 Report on Plans and Priorities is based upon our vision of the Agency in 2010, and proposes concrete initiatives that build toward this vision over the next three years.
Essential to the realization of Agency 2010 will be a stronger role for the Board of Management in ensuring transparency and accountability to Parliament, to our clients, and ultimately to Canadians. As part of its responsibility for CRA administrative policies, the Board will continue to enhance its oversight presence to make certain that the Agency exercises competent stewardship of resources, manages risks, and reports clearly on its plans and results.
CRA’s legislated mandate envisioned an Agency that would provide services to other federal departments as well as provincial, territorial, and First Nations government organizations. Building on the strength of its core business expertise, the Agency will expand the services it performs and more firmly establish the Agency as a service provider of tax and benefit services, while reinforcing accountability to our clients and to Canadians.
These desired outcomes, in concert with the vision for Agency 2010, provide the foundation for this report. This year, as part of our desire to improve transparency and accountability, the report includes concrete deliverables for priority initiatives within each of our seven program activities.
The 2006-2007 Report on Plans and Priorities for the Canada Revenue Agency (CRA) has been prepared based on the reporting principles contained in the Guide for the Preparation of Part III of the 2006-2007 Estimates: Report on Plans and Priorities and Departmental Performance Reports:
The Canada Revenue Agency (CRA) has established a solid foundation of performance in tax services and benefit programs, serving 126 clients – federal, provincial, territorial, and First Nations government organizations. Our 2006-2007 Report on Plans and Priorities outlines the strategies and resources we will apply to build on this performance—while leveraging the CRA’s capacity—to implement Agency 2010, a blueprint for the next several years.
Our plans to address these challenges are built on a solid and secure foundation: an organization that is efficient, accountable, well-managed, and committed to continually improving how it conducts its business. Our accomplishments as an agency create opportunities for building stronger relationships with our clients: federal, provincial, territorial, First Nations, and other government bodies.
We believe we can build on our strengths and competitive advantages to increase the effectiveness and efficiency of revenue collection and benefits administration for all levels of government in Canada. To continue progress in providing services to clients and develop into a truly nationwide agency, the plan calls for a range of activities:
While this sets out an ambitious agenda for the future, it also recognizes that most of the $9.6 billion in planned spending over the three planning years will go to daily operations, principally in the areas of taxpayer services, tax and benefit processing, audits and investigations, and revenue collection. We will strengthen performance monitoring in all areas by improving measures related to timeliness, accuracy and accessibility of tax and benefits service, collection of tax debt, levels of compliance, and quality of appeal resolutions. Finally, we will accomplish this while focusing on the priority of implementing new fiscal measures that deliver $20 billion in tax relief over two years. These measures will form the basis for our Annual Report to Parliament.